How many people in our lives are already destined to be destroyed in Hell fire? More than ever in history (population counts and lack of faith considered). Why are so many around us trapped in their own private hells, dying in their misery and sins, only to end up in a Hell far worse when they are dead? And yet we never even show up to save them? When we do, it's how and when we want to help out? We don't even come to the training sessions, and yet we use unpreparedness as an excuse. The answer is simple—and you will resist it at first, until you realize it is the undeniable truth: somewhere, somehow, we have gotten the notion that Christianity is a, "Privatized Religion"; to be practiced on my own, between me and my God. It has become all about my growth, my troubles, even my ministry. Our "Christianity", has become completely based on what it brings to my life—nothing outside my bubble—it's not even politically correct to ask others of their beliefs, or share ours; and most of us are glad, because we'd just assume keep to ourselves in spiritual matter. News Flash: never, ever has this been the case in the history of Scriptures; never, ever has belief in Christ been a private matter, and yet we still have the same problem, 2000 years and billions of believers later, that the first small band of disciples had in Christ's time: Matthew 9:35-38. Jesus said to pray, not for people to be willing to come to Him, but that enough believers would go out to reach the huge number of hurting, lost people who are ignorant of what can help them.
Why in a society of vastly lost people that are our friends, coworkers, and family, don’t we see multitudes of new faces to love on and teach about Christ? Simply because most of us live a "Privatized Christian Life." To such an extent, that our biggest battle is just constantly keeping ourselves in the game, much less having thoughts of getting involved with a hurting or lost person and bringing them to others, if we can't reach them; much less wanting to use our time to serve and reach others. We face a very hostile crowd, and even face social, political, or vocational threats if we reach out at times; and these angry, judgmental crowds can make reaching out fearful and uncomfortable—Jesus never tried to downplay or ignore this fact—He simply said, do it anyway, in love: Luke 10:1-5, 8-12. First, note that Jesus said the people we would go to with love and salvation would be as wolves to us; they would be vicious, ready to eat us alive; but many would do so in ignorance and pain. So, our love has to be more authentic than their hate. Notice, that even though they act as wolves, we are to approach them as lambs—never giving the same attitude we receive; never manipulating, fighting or hurting, but harmlessly. Luke 10:4. Trust that God will give you what you need to minister in every way; but you have to go first. And in faith, He will provide—the words, the love, and the needs; and then notice this peculiar command, "Greet no one along the road!" Simply but powerfully, this work was of such an urgent matter, that the long formalities of courtesy in those days needed to be avoided. They could get so caught up in social customs and false pleasantries, that they would miss ever getting to the real work. [Did you get that?!] Jesus was saying, these lost people are of the utmost importance and deserve your entire focus—do lost people in your life get any focus at all? Luke 10:5-6. Jesus shows here that no offer of courtesy and love will be wasted, no matter how received. If the blessing is received, then it is a good service from you; if the blessing is rejected in spite, the blessing will come back to the one who gave it. [you can’t lose]. Your job is not to make them receive your words—just to deliver them in love; they are God's Words, not yours—therefore your success is simply measured in obedience. [Are you obedient in reaching out?!] Luke 10:8-12: Jesus says to get personally involved in their lives, and accept their hospitalities. The Seventy were going out into an area where Gentiles, and even many of the Jews didn't observe all the religious laws they should observe—Jesus was saying, don't make such a show of your righteousness over their improper living, that you do not reach out to them passionately. He's saying, they need Jesus' love and acceptance, before they need His laws. [So we don't see a drunkard, a homosexual, a druggie, a Muslim, or a jerk—we see a fellow sinner in need]. [I'll let that one speak to your heart the way God wants it to]. Lastly, Jesus says your job is the same, no matter the reaction—show them that "The Kingdom of God has come near to them", and it requires action. The action they take is in their hands alone. It is not up to you, your talents, and your abilities to save someone—you have no pressure—just tell them the way in love and passion, and your job is done. Jesus' instructions on evangelizing were beautiful and simply: 1) Accept that they will be harsh and attacking, but come to them in true love and passion anyway 2) Trust God to give you what you need to minister in every way, and step out 3) Don't let the world distract you from your mission 4) You will win with God in your obedience alone, whether they accept Him or not 5) Don't let their sins, or lifestyle keep you from reaching out to them.
"Privatized Christianity" is a complete contradiction, and an impossibility. We have two big points made by Jesus in the Gospels: The Greatest Commandment- Love God and others and The Great Commission- Go to all the world with the Gospel. These are the only two things you’ll ever be rewarded for; the only two things that show your passion for God. How do you say that loving God or reaching people are truly important to you, if you aren't a bit concerned for the misery and lost of those around you?
In many countries, to speak to the wrong person about Jesus Christ means instant poverty, shame, prison, or death; and yet in these situations, believers in Christ literally live for the chance to single out those they believe may be open to the Gospel—they risk all in telling them. They are living their lives around the opportunity to share Christ with others, and yet, when was the last time we even invited someone to church with passion and urgency? [I have a hard time believing it is laziness, or even fear—regardless of whether you agree]. Our total apathy for the lost around us, has to stem from one of three things: 1) We just really don't have a love for the lost, that comes from Christ 2) We don’t truly believe Christ is real 3) Don't want to disciple—it would mean real walk for you. Any other excuse you could give me would be resolved by these absolutes, if they were genuine in our lives. If we could just grasp the reality, the seriousness of the situation around us, we would be different. Christianity is almost a social fad, or self-improvement course for many of us—this is the way we live it; this is the way we sell it to others; and our attitude towards the lost reflects it. That cross we wear around our neck, or stick on our bumper is almost blasphemous—we flaunt it so cheaply. Remember, it represents a God giving us His all, and asking the same in return. Are you in or out? Don't flaunt the cross if it's a game. [Some risk their lives every time they wear or own one.] Maybe if we can see Christ as clearly, as soberly, as humbly as those whose walk costs a bit more; maybe if we can see our wonderful lives with a bit less value and other's lives with a bit more value, we can reach out to others in passion as they do. This is the powerful Truth about how we should see Him in our lives. Ask yourself with every line, "Do I mean it?" I am graced with His Salvation, therefore “There is no testing Him; no putting Him on trial when I am not pleased; no expectation to make my life better; no disappointment over how all of my needs are not met—I have signed on to be a servant to Him forever, simply because He is worth it, and not because I am. I serve Him not because He owes me anything, but because He's already done something—something I owe immeasurably for, and can never payback enough. I serve Him because as God, He first served me, though I was unworthy, unloving, and unthankful. I serve Him because He alone is worthy and deserving. I do not serve to receive anything in return, except the incredible honor and joy of having pleased the One I love, the One Who loves me so dearly!"
If you love Him; if you love others; it's time to get busy. Either the Gospel is arrogant and dumb… or it is everything!
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